This Article is written by Anshika Gupta (a law student pursuing B.A.LL.B from Lloyd Law College, Greater Noida.)
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr
Table of Contents
Crime is common in society. With the change in time, criminal cases are complex. Therefore, the administration of justice is only possible through the application of science and technology. The application of science and technology in solving cases is not new. With the advancement in technology, justice within society is done with fair procedure.
It observes that when a crime is committed, the most important place for investigation is the crime scene. A crime scene is a place where the officer does the investigation and collects evidence against the accused. Scientific laboratory procedures have the potential to extract information from physical clues left at the crime scene that can help investigators figure out what happened and who was (and wasn’t) involved. The following are examples of the types of data it can provide:
Identification and Classification –
A trained crime scene investigator examines physical evidence. Identifying and classifying a drug is a common starting point for laboratory examiners.
Common Origin –
It is a sophisticated and compelling conclusion. Indicating a piece of evidence came from a certain person or source.
Reconstruction assists the investigator and prosecutor in determining the truth of a case. Speculating on the sequence of events; the relative positions of actors concerning one another, and how the actors interact.
Negative Identification/Different Origin –
Negative identifications are findings that the material discovered is not what the investigator had predicted a variety of conclusions, a laboratory test stating that two or more pieces of evidence do not have the same origin is known as an origin or a reference point
A comparison of a piece of evidence to a standard (paint, glass, plastic, etc.) that isn’t conclusive. The results (e.g., etc.) may be merely inconclusive.
What is Forensic?
The combination of Law and Science is a unique combination to reach justice. This combination is called Forensic Science. Forensics is a Latin word that means belonging to the crime of justice. The first school of Forensic Science was established in 1909. “Genetic Science produces truthful facts about human identity, and that establishing the verity in questions of identity is equivalent to ensuring justice.” Forensic Science can prove the conduct of crime, its presence, and connection with crime through:
- Examination of physical tests
- Administration test
- Interpretation of data
- Clear, and concise connections.
- The true testimony of a forensic scientist
Forensic Science has become an integral part of numerous criminal cases and judgments, with objective facts through scientific knowledge serving both the defence and the arguments of the prosecution. In Balakrishna Das Agarwal v. Radha Devi, the Court mentioned that the forensic scientist is basically a witness of the Court; neither a witness on behalf of the prosecution nor behalf of the defence; and mentioning that an expert is a person who by his experience, knowledge, and training expresses his opinion.
Today with the advancement in technology, there is advancement in methods and techniques used by criminals, which makes the investigation process difficult to collect evidence. Without forensic science in today’s time solving a case is merely not possible.
Technologies used in forensic science and its admissibility in India:
Forensic science is experiencing a period of rapid change, in the wake of the dramatic evolution of DNA profiling. The first stage in the interpretation of DNA profiles is the declaration of a match. If two profiles that are compared, do not match, then the suspect can be eliminated from the investigation. 
The uniqueness of the DNA evidence is what makes it a powerful tool in criminal investigation, because, each person’s DNA is unique except for identical twins. The courts of law in India and countries like The USA have convicted a suspect/accused based on DNA in the past. 
Types of evidence that are accepted in courtrooms in criminal and civil matters where it is beneficial in showing identification of familial association. DNA profiling has numerous advantages. Though it will never be able to completely replace circumstantial evidence in criminal situations, it can help to point to the suspects who may have committed the crime. In civil proceedings, it’s far the maximum dependable and conclusive manner for organizing a person’s identity and proving or disproving paternity or maternity. This application of DNA technology necessitates the most up-to-date best practices to offer us accurate and dependable results.
Admissibility of DNA in India
Although no explicit DNA legislation has been implemented in India, sections 53 and 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr PC) provision for implied DNA tests, which are widely employed in the determination of complex criminal cases. With the Amendment Act of 2005, Section 53(A) of CrPC was introduced which deals with a medical practitioner’s examination of the accused at the request of a police officer. Even though that section 53-(A) only refers to a medical examination of the accused at the request of the police officer. The court has greater authority to do justice in criminal cases by ordering the police officer to collect blood samples from the accused and conduct DNA tests for further investigation under sections 173(8) and 293(4)(e) of the Cr PC.
In the matter of civil cases for the first time in India, scientific evidence (DNA) has been accepted and given priority under section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act over legitimate presumption u/s 112 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872.  The acceptability of test results in court has become commonplace, and DNA testing has become a standard aspect of criminal justice procedure. Except in exceptional circumstances, India has adopted an adversarial style of justice administration, and medical evidence normally is admitted only when the expert gives an oral testimony under oath in a court of law.
Cases that justify the admissibility:
In Patangi Balarama Venkata Ganesh v. the State of A.P., 57 the Andhra Pradesh High Court held that the opinion of a DNA expert is admissible in evidence as it is a perfect science.
In Goutam Kundu v. the State of W.B., the Supreme Court expressed the most reluctant attitude in the application of DNA evidence in resolving the paternity dispute arising out of maintenance proceedings.
Raghuvir Desai v. State, the Bombay High Court noted that “DNA testing is clinching piece of evidence – DNA testing can make a virtual identification when two samples match. It exonerates innocent and helps to convict the guilty.”
Some courts may still be reluctant to admit some type of scientific evidence (like DNA typing) as they may feel that it does not follow the Frye test. However, of late, it is generally stated that unless there is some special circumstance, all relevant evidence is admissible. 
Narco Analysis Test or Truth Serum Test:
Narco-analysis is one such scientific advancement that has grown in popularity in India. In 1936, the term “narco-analysis” was used to explain the usage of narcotics to generate a trance-like situation wherein the difficulty is subjected to a chain of questions.
The idea is that a person may lie by using his imagination, and that this ability is hindered or neutralized by putting the person into a semi-conscious condition while under the effect of particular barbiturates. It becomes more difficult for the person to lie, and his responses will be limited to things he is familiar with. The accuser’s comments are captured on audio and video cassettes, and the expert’s report aids in the gathering of evidence. The use of such a drug in police work or interrogation is comparable to the well-known psychiatric method of Narco-analysis, with the only difference being the objectives.
Admissibility of Narco-analysis test in India:
“A statement made throughout a Narco-analysis test is not admissible in court, just like a confession made in a police station unless the Court believes the facts and nature of the case permit it.”
The courts, on the alternative hand, have expressed various evaluations at the legality of carrying out Narco-analysis. The High Court of Karnataka examined whether Narco-evaluation is a compulsion at the invasion of the human frame in the case of SeIvi Murugesan v. the State of Karnataka, (2010). Justice Majage claimed “Section 53(1) of the CrPC justifies a Narco-analysis test performed by a trained medical practitioner in a defined manner. He further added, citing Section 39 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which it is the responsibility of every individual to provide information concerning a crime, and that Article 20(3) of the Constitution cannot obstruct the process of discovering the truth.”
Various courts have held that the founders of the Constitution did not intend to intervene with the right and efficient inquiry system once they drafted the right against self-incrimination. The courts, on the other hand, have highlighted two requirements for allowing scientific tests on the accused:
- The circumstance and context of a case as a whole.
- The case is set up in such a way that reasonable doubt should exist to allow the tests to be conducted.
The courts have ruled that conducting Narco-analysis is legal if the nature and circumstances of the case need it. The accused should have freely consented to the Narco test and there should be no evidence of coercion or force. The accuser’s statements are not admissible as evidence, and the prosecution cannot rely on them to prove their case.
Polygraph or Lie Detector Test:
It is an examination, based on an assumption that there is an interaction between the mind and body and conducted by various components or the sensors of a polygraph machine, that are connected to the body of the person that is interrogated through the expert. The machine statistics the blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing, and muscle movements.  The assumption behind polygraph exams is that a guilty individual will be more concerned with lying about the key facts of the crime, resulting in a hyper-arousal condition that can be detected by someone trained to read polygraph data. A multitude of measures, including heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, skin conductance, and electromyography, are used to assess hyper arousal.
Admissibility of polygraph test in India
A polygraph test is admissible under some circumstances, but it is not conclusive proof.
While conducting any test, the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) “Guidelines for the Administration of Polygraph Test (Lie Detector Test) on an Accused” should be followed properly. The following is a summary of the instructions that the court imposed for the administration of tests based on the NHRC’s publication:
- Lie Detector Tests should only be utilized if the accused gives his or her consent. The accused should offer the choice of whether or not to take such a test.
- If the accused agrees to a Lie Detector Test, he should be given access to a lawyer and the police should explain the physical, emotional, and legal.
- Before a Judicial Magistrate, the consent shall be recorded.
- A lawyer throughout the hearing before the Magistrate should properly represent the person accused of agreeing.
- At the hearing, the person in issue should be informed that the statement he or she makes will not be considered a “confessional” statement to the Magistrate, but rather a statement to the police.
- The Magistrate must take into account all relevant considerations, such as the length of custody and the character of the interrogation.
- The Lie Detector Test must record by an independent institution (such as a hospital) and perform in the presence of a lawyer.
- A thorough medical and factual account of how the information received must record.
Cases that justify the admissibility:
In the case of Sekharan & Others v. the State of Kerala,  the first mention of polygraph testing in an Indian court occurred in 1979. A court only looked at the admissibility of polygraph tests in 2004.
In the case of Selvi v. the State Of Karnataka, the Supreme Court finally pondered the use of scientific techniques like polygraph exams and their acceptability in court, as well as whether such means of acquiring evidence were constitutionally valid. The court has ensured that even if there is a possible error in a test, it must be verified by a subsequent discovery to be admitted in court.
The court did make a concession, allowing Polygraph tests to conduct as long as the test subject’s consent is obtained and proper safeguards are followed. In the Selvi case, the Supreme Court declared that polygraph test findings would not accept as evidence as is due to their overall unreliability. Instead, they would allow under The Indian Evidence Act Section 27. This means that only a subsequent discovery based on the information gleaned from the Polygraph test would be acceptable in court.
Fingerprints are permanent and remain the same throughout an individual’s lifetime. When committing a crime, a criminal uses his hands and thus leaves marks on the site of the crime or on any object that meets his hands while conducting the crime. As a result, fingerprints are likely to be found in all crimes, and these impressions can be used to identify the person who committed the crime. There would be no evidence at a crime scene that would endure long enough without disappearing if there were no prints.
According to the Central Finger Print Bureau (CFPB) in NCRB as well as State Finger Print Bureaux (SFPBx)it is gratifying to mention that during the year 2020, the country’s Finger Prints Units visited 49,453 crime scenes and were able to match the chance prints in 2,768 incidents. In 39,903 cases, evidence of detained individuals’ fingerprints was discovered in comparison to 5,13,257 searches. 
Admissibility of fingerprints as evidence in India:
Finger impression evidence is now admissible, although the person delivering his or her opinion in this matter must be a fingerprint specialist. Fingerprints are deemed a legitimate piece of evidence under the Indian Evidence Act, which was passed in 1872. Section 73 of IEA, 1872 states that the court has the authority to order any individual present in the court to provide his fingerprints if the court requires them for comparison with questioned fingerprints.
Cases that justify the admissibility:
In Ammini v. State of Kerala,  the High Court chastised the Trial Court for this viewpoint, and the Supreme Court relied on the fingerprint evidence to prove the accuser’s guilt.
Similarly, the Patna High Court stated in State v. Karugope,  that the fingerprint expert’s assessment is accepted and considered adequate evidence for the accuser’s conviction.
The case of Bhaluka Behra v. State,  states that the weight and value assigned to an expert’s judgment are varied. In actuality, a fingerprint is an unforgivable signature. As a result, the fingerprint expert’s testimony is accorded significant weight.
According to Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, the court may rely on expert opinion based on significant facts related to a point of foreign law, science, or art, or the identification of finger imprints. Expert evidence is allowed in court because they are individuals who have committed time to a certain field of study and have the necessary competence to make an opinion on a fact in his area of expertise. Expert testimony is still not final, and it is up to the court to decide whether to rely on it. The courts believe that an expert’s responsibility is to depose rather than determine. The expert’s sole role is to provide the facts with the required criteria to allow the court to reach an impartial judgment.
Fingerprint as evidence plays an important role because of their uniqueness, permanent nature, universal nature (i.e. all persons carry their medium of identification which is fingerprints), they are inimitable and can be classified easily. In a court of law, fingerprint evidence is used Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act governs the application of the law.
As a result, it can be concluded that forensic science plays a critical part in crime investigation. Crime has risen in modern times, as has the type and method of crime, which has evolved and improved with the advancement of technology. As a result, the police and investigative machinery employ forensic science to identify crime and keep up with the evolving technologies and varied types of crime. Intelligent criminals have been fast to harness science for their illegal deeds, but police investigators can no longer rely on their age-old skill of intelligence.
In a civilized society, barbaric and cruel ways of discovering crime have no place. Because criminals are adopting new current sophisticated tactics in committing crimes, it is no longer feasible to solve the crime without the application of a new scientific approach. As a result, the importance of forensic science is rapidly growing in the present day. With the aid of forensic science and its modern procedures, a mystery crime may be readily solved. With time, the breadth of forensic science expands. Here are several fields of forensic science that are extremely useful in detecting, solving, and apprehending criminals. Forensic science still needs technological progress. It also necessitates the use of criminal case professionals who can securely collect evidence.
 Sheila Jasanoff, ‘Just Evidence: The Limits of Science In The Legal Process, 34 J. LAW, MED & ETHICS 328, 332 (2006).
 185th Law Commission Report, Part II, 49 <http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/185th Report-PartII.pdf>.
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 Nandlal Wasudeo Badwaik v. Lata Nandlal Badwaik & Anr, (2014)2 SCC 576
 K. Vij, Textbook of Forensic Medicine: Principles and Practice 135 (New Delhi: B.C. Churchill Livingstone, 2001).
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